Barriers to betting among Brits

Oliver RoweGlobal Sector Head ‑ Leisure & Entertainment
July 29, 2021, 6:21 PM UTC

From perceived lack of value to privacy concerns, fresh YouGov data on the attitudes and habits of consumers sheds light on the most common barriers keeping Brits from placing an online bet. 

These new insights are part of a forthcoming YouGov whitepaper that delves deep into attitudes and habits around online gambling in 17 global markets.  

In this piece, we’ll go through some of the major concerns held by Britons when it comes to online gambling, with a view to providing actionable insights for marketers in the sector.  

When asked why they haven’t gambled online in the last year, more than a quarter of Brits say the odds are stacked against them (27%) while 21% feel they’re unlikely to win big. Both reasons question the value of products on offer, suggesting firms may be able to capture a larger audience by focusing on and better communicating winning potential. Related, roughly one in five (22%) non-gamblers say they don’t have the money with which to gamble. 

Before delving into other reasons provided, it’s worth stating that a plurality of respondents (32%) say there is no particular reason why they don’t gamble. This insight tells us that a significant portion of non-gamblers are neutral about gambling at the moment – a group typically amongst the easiest to market to, given the right insights about their attitudes and behaviours.  

Related to this finding, 20% of the country’s non-gamblers say it simply hasn’t occurred to them to gamble, again suggesting the right marketing message delivered through the right platform could nudge this significant group into becoming active. 

The idea that gambling is morally wrong appears further down our list of reasons, with just 11% of British non-gamblers saying so. Only around one in ten (8%) say that it is against their beliefs. 

About the same proportion of the country’s non-gamblers are worried that they will get addicted (9%), that they will spend too much (10%) or that they wouldn’t be able to trust themselves (5%). In each case, young non-gambling Brits aged 18 to 24 are twice as likely to share these concerns. These anxieties have been the topic of much discussion in the industry and while industry bodies have made efforts to quell concerns, more effort may be needed to grow the industry. It looks like young people are particularly concerned about gambling harm.  

Further still down the list is a lack of trust that companies will protect credit card details (9%). While this concern isn’t widespread across the general non-gambling population, again young people between 18 and 24 are twice as likely to hold this worry. Once more, this data point suggests companies ought to take care to allay privacy concerns, particularly among those in the younger demographic. 

Fewer still say they simply don’t have the time (7%), or that they only gamble offline (3%).  

A marginal proportion of respondents (1%) cite technical difficulties. This should come as welcoming news for betting firms, as it suggests user experience is generally frictionless. 

These insights are just a sliver of findings to be published in YouGov’s upcoming whitepaper. The multinational data is based on a sample size of more than 17,000 respondents. 

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